A thirty-eight-year-old mother of three has been seriously injured after being chased by police officers in Paynesville City.
The victim, Esther Keah, who is suffering from broken fingers, had earlier gone to the commercial center, Red Light, to buy food; but met her unfortunate situation when the police started to raid marketeers who had refused to vacate the area after being relocated to Omega market.
Explaining her ordeal, Keah denied being one of the marketeers, but a buyer who the police mistook as one of the marketeers, while raiding the market.
“When I arrived at the market, I came across police officers who were stopping marketeers from doing business activities, and when the process became intense, they started to chase everyone including buyers. While running for safety, I slipped and fell to the ground, leaving me three broken fingers,” the mother of three said.
Keah added that the police officers who chased her showed no concern for her injury but rained insults on her.
“Instead of helping, I was insulted and left lying there in pain. I never expected this and it is heartbreaking. The police are there to protect the injured, too, but that never happened in my case. If not for the marketeers, I was not going to seek early treatment," Keah said.
However, Police spokesman Moses Carter has distanced the police from being responsible for Keah’s injury.
“If, for any reason, she saw the police and decided to run, whatever that happened she is responsible for that,” Carter added. “If she was not guilty, why did she run away from the police? If the police went to raid in Red Light and somebody saw the police coming and started running and the person broke their fingers, we cannot be responsible.”
Since the relocation mandate was given on July 12, 2021, many street sellers have refused to move to the new Omega Market.
They have remained defiant to the government’s order and challenged police daily by bringing their goods to put on the main road in the area they were asked to leave. The sellers in Red Light argue that they have no space at Omega. Some are selling in various street corners and would quickly pick up their goods to run when they see a police officer coming.
The situation has made Red Light a dramatic scene as the police officers on the other hand are showing no mercy to the sellers when they get hold of them. If caught, the police would confiscate or destroy their goods.
Despite this harsh treatment, the sellers are still resisting to relocate, claiming that business is slow at the Omega market. The presence of the sellers at Red Light is posing a serious challenge to marketers at the Omega market. They (sellers at the Omega Market) recently issued a threat, promising to return to Red Light if the government does not remove other sellers from there.
Meanwhile, victim Keah further lamented that since the incident, she and her family members have been undertaking her medical expenses with no outside help. She complains that she has severe pain as a result of the injury sustained.
“I am appealing to humanitarian organizations and philanthropists to help her to seek treatment. I am unable to underwrite her medical bills,” Keah added.
Madam Keah can be reached at this number 0777529605.